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Category Archives: Wealth

Infographic: Is $1 Million Enough for Retirement in America?

See large image . . . . . .

Source : Visual Capitalist

Charts: The 100 Billion Dollar Club

Source : Statista

China and Common Prosperity

Michael Roberts wrote . . . . . . . . .

Back in May the Chinese government set up a special zone to implement ‘common prosperity’ in Zhejiang province, which also happens to be the location of the headquarters of several prominent internet corporations– Alibaba among them. And last month, China’s President Xi Jinping announced plans to spread “common prosperity”, heralding a tough crackdown on wealthy elites – including China’s burgeoning group of technology billionaires. At its August meeting, the Central Finance and Economics Committee, chaired by Xi, confirmed that “Common Prosperity” was “an essential requirement of socialism” and should go together with high quality growth.

Over the past fortnight, the tax administration pledged to crack down on tax dodgers and fined Zheng Shuang, one of the country’s most popular actresses, $46m for tax evasion. The Supreme Court declared the 72-hour work weeks common at many private-sector companies to be illegal. And the housing ministry said on Tuesday that it would cap annual residential rent increases at five per cent. And a new layer of officials has been arrested for corruption.

Also, the government is moving to restrict domestic companies from listing on US stock exchanges, in a move threatening to restrict the growth of tech firms that had come to symbolise record Chinese economic growth rates and the emergence of rich company bosses. The years of unbridled speculation by billionaire privately owned companies in league with various local and national officials to do what they want, including usurping state control of the retail banking system, are over.

Billionaires in general, and the mega-wealthy beneficiaries of the tech industry in particular, are now scrambling to appease the party with charitable donations and messages of support. Nasdaq-listed e-commerce website Pinduoduo saiid earlier this year it would donate its second-quarter profit and all future earnings to help with China’s agricultural development until the donations reached at least 10bn yuan ($1.5bn). The move prompted its shares to jump by 22%. Hong Kong-listed Tencent, reading the same signals from Beijing, set aside 50bn yuan for welfare programmes supporting low-income communities, bringing this year’s total philanthropic pledge to $15bn.

The announcement of the ‘common prosperity’ plans was preceded by the arrest of Hangzhou’s (Capital of Zhejiang) top official Communist Party Secretary Zhou Jiangyong by anti-corruption officials. It is rumoured his relatives had been making themselves rich with investments in local internet stocks.

The crackdown on the tech giants and the attempts of the billionaires to gain control of China’s consumer retailing and banking sectors has quickly smashed the hopes of foreign investors too. The Chinese tech sector explosive stock prices have been reversed.

The professed aim of Common Prosperity is to “regulate excessively high incomes” in order to ensure “common prosperity for all”. And it is well known that China has a very high level of inequality of income. Its gini index of income inequality is high by world standards although it has fallen back in recent years.

The gini inequality measure is used to measure overall inequality in incomes and wealth. In wealth, gini values are much higher than the corresponding values for income inequality or any other standard welfare indicator. China’s inequality of wealth is lower than in Brazil, Russia or India, but still higher than Japan or Italy.

In my view, there are two reasons why Xi and his majority in the CP leadership have launched the ‘common prosperity’ project now. The first is the experience of the COVID pandemic. As in the major capitalist economies, the pandemic has exposed huge inequalities to the general public in China, not just in income but also in rising wealth for the billionaires, who have reaped huge profits during COVID while the majority of Chinese, especially middle-income groups have suffered lockdowns, loss of income and rising living costs. The share of personal wealth for China’s billionaires has doubled from 7% in 2019 to 15% of GDP now.

If this were allowed to continue, it would begin to open up schisms in the CP and the party’s support among the population. Xi wants to avoid another Tiananmen Square protest in 1989 after a huge rise in inequality and inflation under Deng’s ‘social market’ reforms. As Xi put it in a long speech in July to party members: “Realizing common prosperity is more than an economic goal. It is a major political issue that bears on our Party’s governance foundation. We cannot allow the gap between the rich and the poor to continue growing—for the poor to keep getting poorer while the rich continue growing richer. We cannot permit the wealth gap to become an unbridgeable gulf. Of course, common prosperity should be realized in a gradual way that gives full consideration to what is necessary and what is possible and adheres to the laws governing social and economic development. At the same time, however, we cannot afford to just sit around and wait. We must be proactive about narrowing the gaps between regions, between urban and rural areas, and between rich and poor people. We should promote all-around social progress and well-rounded personal development, and advocate social fairness and justice, so that our people enjoy the fruits of development in a fairer way. We should see that people have a stronger sense of fulfilment, happiness, and security and make them feel that common prosperity is not an empty slogan but a concrete fact that they can see and feel for themselves.” My emphases.

As Xi perceptively admitted in this speech about the demise of the Soviet Union: “The Soviet Union was the world’s first socialist country and once enjoyed spectacular success. Ultimately however, it collapsed, mainly because the Communist Party of the Soviet Union became detached from the people and turned into a group of privileged bureaucrats concerned only with protecting their own interests (my emphasis). Even in a modernized country, if a governing party turns its back on the people, it will imperil the fruits of modernization.”

The other reason for Xi’s policy move is that, despite the quick recovery in the Chinese economy from the global pandemic slump, COVID has not been eradicated in China or elsewhere and this has led to a slowing in growth. In August, factory output went into reverse, slumping to an 18-month low, while the main survey of the services sector showed that sector took an even greater hit and contracted for the first time since last March.

Rana Mitter, a historian and director of the University of Oxford China Centre, commented “Party officials fear that the tech giants and the people who run them are out of control and need to be reined in. And then we must add Xi’s determination to be nominated next year for a third term that changes to the constitution now allow.” China’s capitalists imagined that they could act in the same way as those in the G7 economies by investing in property, fintech and consumer media and run up huge debts to do so. But COVID forced the government to try and curb the rise corporate and real estate debt. This has led to bankruptcy of several ‘shadow banking’ concerns and real estate companies. The giant property company Evergrande is struggling to repay $300bn debts and is now expected to go bust, unless the state bails it out. Evergrande claims to employ 200,000 people and indirectly generate 3.8 million jobs in China.

The government had to act to curb the unbridled expansion of unproductive and speculative investment. The latest Financial Stability Report from the People’s Bank of China (central bank) states that between 2017-2019, “the overall macro leverage ratio has stabilized at around 250%, which has won room to increase countercyclical adjustments in response to the epidemic.” In other words, the government could afford the fund the support necessary to get through the COVID slump. But the PBoC admitted that “under the impact of the epidemic in 2020, the nominal GDP growth rate will slow down, the macro hedging will be increased, and the macro leverage ratio will gradually rise. It is expected that it will gradually return to a basically stable track.” So debt is set to rise as China goes into 2022.

The PBoC report claims that it has got all the shadow banking and other risky financial operations under control: “the financial order has been comprehensively cleaned up and rectified. P2P online lending institutions in operation have all ceased operations, illegal fund-raising, cross-border gambling, and underground banks and other illegal financial activities have been effectively curbed, private equity funds, financial asset trading venues and other risk resolution have made positive progress, and the supervision of large financial technology companies has been strengthened.”

But the report is also revealed that there is a section of CP leaders who do actually want to press on with opening up China’s state-controlled financial system to capital (including foreign capital) – and these views are strong within the Western educated bankers in the PBoC. The PBoC report says that it wants to “continue to deepen reform and opening up, further promote the market-oriented reform of interest rates and exchange rates, steadily advance the reform of the capital market, and promote the high-quality development of the bond market. On the premise of effectively preventing risks, continue to expand high-level financial opening.” Apparently, the PBoC officials reckon even more relaxation of the financial regulations will reduce risk!

On the other hand, Xi and his supporters want to control the ‘wild east’ antics of the finance sectors in Shangahi and Shenhzen. Xi is now proposing setting up a new stock exchange in Beijing to lure domestic companies into listing at home instead of overseas. This is part of the strategy to reduce reliance on foreign investment.

According to China ‘experts’ in the West, this crackdown on finance, property and private tech is suicidal to China’s growth. These experts reckon that China cannot sustain its previous growth miracle based on state ownership, planning and investment and instead must let the markets dominate economic policy and investment. The World Bank has been a leader in promoting this strategy for China for decades. The then-World Bank President Robert Zoellick told a press conference in Beijing. “As China’s leaders know, the country’s current growth model is unsustainable.” The so-called middle-income trap describes how economies tend to stall and stagnate at a certain level of development, once wages have risen and productivity growth becomes harder. In early 2012, the World Bank and the Development Research Center, a think tank under China’s State Council, released a 473-page report that spelled out the reforms the country would need to undertake to avoid the “middle-income trap” and ascend to the ranks of high-income nations: ie let market forces rip.

Investment banker, George Magnus, a supposed China expert, has long argued the old chestnut that “at higher income levels, economies become too complex for command-and-control management by individuals. Systems are increasingly what matters. Rules that are transparent, predictable and fairly applied enable market forces to take over the job of directing economic activity, raising efficiency and allowing innovation to flourish.” Magnus, who devoted a chapter to the middle-income trap in his 2018 book Red Flags: Why Xi’s China is in Jeopardy, argues that in pursuing these policies and strategies, “China’s government will stifle incentives and innovation, and make it even more difficult to generate the productivity growth that all high-middle-income countries need to avoid the middle income trap.”

I have dealt with all these arguments in previous posts, so I won’t go into detail again. But the reality is that China is already on the cusp of gaining high-income status, as defined by the World Bank. Based on the World Bank’s current threshold and International Monetary Fund forecasts, the country should achieve that goal before 2025. Indeed, as Arthur Kroeber, head of research at Gavekal Dragonomics in China, has put it: “Is China fading? In a word, no. China’s economy is in good shape, and policymakers are exploiting this strength to tackle structural issues such as financial leverage, internet regulation and their desire to make technology the main driver of investment.” Kroeber echoes my view that: “On a two-year average basis, China is growing at about 5 per cent, while the US is well under 1 per cent. By the end of 2021 the US should be back around its pre-pandemic trend of 2.5 per cent annual growth. Over the next several years, China will probably keep growing at nearly twice the US rate.”

According to a recent report by Goldman Sachs, China’s digital economy is already large, accounting for almost 40% of GDP and fast growing, contributing more than 60% of GDP growth in recent years. “And there is ample room for China to further digitalize its traditional sectors”. China’s IT share of GDP climbed from 2.1% in 2011Q1 to 3.8% in 2021Q1. Although China still lags the US, Europe, Japan and South Korea in its IT share of GDP, the gap has been narrowing over time. No wonder, the US and other capitalist powers are intensifying their efforts to contain China’s technological expansion.

In a report, the New York Fed admits that if China keeps up this pace of expansion, it “is well on track to high-income status… After all, per capita income growth has averaged 6.2 percent over the last five years, implying a doubling roughly every eleven years, and per capita income is already close to 30 percent of the U.S. level.” But the NY Fed argues it won’t be able to as the working population is declining and there will be an insufficient rise in the productivity of labour to compensate. I challenged that forecast in a previous post.

The reason that the NY Fed as well as many Keynesian and other critics of the Chinese ‘miracle’ are so sceptical is that they are seeped in a different economic model for growth. They are convinced that China can only be ‘successful’ (like the economies of the G7!) if its economy depends on profitable investment by privately-owned companies in a ‘free market’. And yet the evidence of the last 40 and even 70 years is that a state-led, planning economic model that is China’s has been way more successful than its ‘market economy’ peers such as India, Brazil or Russia.

As Xi said in his speech: “China is now the world’s second largest economy, the largest industrial nation, the largest trader of goods, and the largest holder of foreign exchange reserves. China’s GDP has exceeded RMB100 trillion yuan and stands at over US$10,000 in per capita terms. Permanent urban residents account for over 60% of the population, and the middle-income group has grown to over 400 million. Particularly noteworthy are our historic achievements of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and eliminating absolute poverty—a problem which has plagued our nation for thousands of years.”

In contrast, the lessons of the global financial crash and the Great Recession of 2009, the ensuing long depression to 2019 and the economic impact of the pandemic slump are that introducing more capitalist production for profit will not sustain economic growth and certainly not deliver ‘common prosperity’.

Indeed, it is the capitalist sector in China that is in trouble and threatens China’s future prosperity. China’s capitalist sector is suffering (as it is in the major capitalist economies). Profitability has fallen, reducing the ability or willingness of China’s capitalists to invest productively. That is why speculation in unproductive investment has become ‘uncontrolled’ in China too. Far from the need to reduce the role of the state, China’s future growth through a rise in productivity of labour as the total workforce shrinks in size will depend on state-led investment in technology, skilled labour and ‘common prosperity’.

Xi’s crackdown on the billionaires and his call for reduced inequality is yet another zig in the zig-zag policy direction of the Chinese bureaucratic elite: from the early years of rigid state planning to Deng’s ‘market’ reforms in the 1980s; to the privatisation of some state companies in 1990s; to the return to firmer state control of the ‘commanding heights’ of the economy after the global slump in 2009; then the loosening of speculative credit after that; and now a new crackdown on the capitalist sector to achieve ‘common prosperity”.

These zig zags are wasteful and inefficient. They happen because China’s leadership is not accountable to its working people; there are no organs of worker democracy. There is no democratic planning. Only the 100 million CP members have a say in China’s economic future, and that is really only among the top. The other reason for the zig zags is that China is surrounded by imperialism and its allies both economically and militarily. Capitalism remains the dominant mode of production outside China, if not inside. ‘Common prosperity’ cannot be achieved properly while the forces of capital remain inside and outside China.


Source : Brave New Europe

Are We Really So “Rich”? A New Way of Defining Wealth

Charles Hugh Smith wrote . . . . . . . . .

What if our commoditized, financialized definition of wealth reflects a staggering poverty of culture, spirit, wisdom, practicality and common sense?

The conventional definition of wealth is solely financial: ownership of money and assets. The assumption is that money can buy anything the owner desires: power, access, land, shelter, energy, transport and if not love, then a facsimile of caring.

The flaw in this reductionist definition is obvious: not everything of value can be purchased at any price–for example, health, once lost, cannot be purchased for $1 million, $10 million or even $100 million. A facsimile of friendship can be purchased (i.e. companions willing to trade fake friendliness for money), but true friendship cannot be bought at any price: its very nature renders friendship a non-commodity.

This explains the abundance of wealthy people who are miserable, lonely and phony to the core. Only commoditized goods and services can be bought with money or assets.

Given the limits of the conventional model of wealth, the question naturally arises: what if we defined wealth more by what cannot be bought rather than by what can be bought? Another way of making the distinction is to ask: what has been commoditized/globalized such that any person with money anywhere on the planet can buy it? What cannot be commoditized because it is intrinsically inaccessible to commodification?

We can start our inquiry with a series of questions:

1. What would be the impact on an individual’s health if modern medicine/pharmaceuticals were no longer available? Put another way: how dependent is one’s “good health” on commoditized interventions? How independent is an individual’s health/vitality from commoditized medicine?

Health that is sufficiently vibrant that it has no need for commoditized medicine cannot be bought, and therefore it is a form of intrinsic (non-commodity) wealth.

2. Can a shipwrecked individual swim two miles through open ocean from a doomed ship to safety? Money has no value if there is no help that can be bought; the individual’s only wealth in this situation (assuming they know how to swim) is their core physical strength and endurance–forms of wealth that cannot be substituted with money.

3. If Cicero was correct and “The man who has a garden and a library has everything,” then let’s ask not how extensive one’s library might be in terms of the number of volumes, but ask how many of the books (or ebooks) have been read, absorbed and enjoyed by the owner?

In other words, it’s not the ownership of a library which creates non-commoditized wealth but the joy, knowledge and pleasure derived from the reading of the books which defines wealth.

4. The same analysis can also be applied to a garden/orchard: what if we ask not how large the garden/orchard is in terms of square meters, but how expansive is the owner’s participation in the care of the garden/orchard, how much pleasure is created by the toil and harvest, and how much of the bounty is shared with others?

5. How many friendships does an individual have that began in high school or earlier and are still vibrant? How many friends does one have who can be entrusted with the deepest personal crises? How many friends’ homes are open to you, rain or shine?

What if we defined the person with no true friends as impoverished, regardless of their ownership of assets and cash? Many people seem to have professional acquaintances they call “friends” to mask their bottomless poverty of real friends and friendships.

6. What if wealth were measured in personal integrity, i.e. honesty, trustworthiness, compassion and the ability to remain accountable even as things fall apart?

This is of course just a start: we could continue our redefinition of wealth to include kindness, empathy, the skills needed to organize volunteer community work parties, and so on.

As we explore what actually cannot be bought or commoditized, it raises this question: what if our commoditized, financialized definition of wealth reflects a staggering poverty of culture, spirit, wisdom, integrity, warmth, kindness, friendship, practicality and common sense?


Source : Of Two Minds

Charts: Wealth Distribution in the U.S.

Source : Of Two Minds

Chart: The Distribution Of Global Wealth


See large image . . . . . .

Source : Visual Capitalist

The Wealthiest 10% of Americans Own a Record 89% of all U.S. Stocks

Robert Frank wrote . . . . . . . . .

The wealthiest 10% of Americans now own 89% of all U.S. stocks held by households, a record high that highlights the stock market’s role in increasing wealth inequality.

The top 1% gained more than $6.5 trillion in corporate equities and mutual fund wealth during the Covid-19 pandemic, while the bottom 90% added $1.2 trillion, according to the latest data from the Federal Reserve. The share of corporate equities and mutual funds owned by the top 10% reached the record high in the second quarter, while the bottom 90% of Americans held about 11% of individually held stocks, down from 12% before the pandemic.

The stock market, which has nearly doubled since the March 2020 drop and is up nearly 40% since January 2020, was the main source of wealth creation in America during the pandemic — as well as the main driver of inequality. The total wealth of the top 1% now tops 32%, a record, according to the Fed data. Nearly 70% of their wealth gains over the past year and a half — one of the fastest wealth booms in recent history — came from stocks.

“The top 1% own a lot of stock, the rest of us own a little,” said Steven Rosenthal, senior fellow, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

The growing concentration of wealth comes despite millions of new investors coming into the stock market for the first time during the pandemic, leading to what many have labeled “the democratization” of stocks. Robinhood added more than 10 million new accounts over the past two years and now has over 22 million — many of them held by younger, first-time investors.

Yet while the market may be owned more broadly, the gains and wealth it creates are not being more widely distributed. Rosenthal said that while the army of new investors may be numerous, they are also still small, with the average account size at Robinhood at about $4,500. When markets rise, they will have far smaller dollar gains than wealthier investors with hundreds of thousands or even millions in stock holdings.

“Many of the younger investors also bought in at higher prices, compared to bigger investors who have been in the market for years and see larger gains,” Rosenthal said.

Also, many of the new investors have more of a trading mentality — buying and selling stocks rapidly, with leverage, in hopes of quick gains. While the strategy can create big winners, others may see lower returns than those of investors who simply buy and hold for the long term.

The top 10% saw the value of their stocks gain 43% between January 2020 and June of 2021, according to the Fed. The bottom 90% saw stock wealth rise at a lower rate — 33%.

“They might account for a larger share of trading activity, but that’s different from ownership and wealth,” Rosenthal said.


Source : CNBC

扎实推动共同富裕

作者: 习近平 . . . . . . . .

改革开放后,我们党深刻总结正反两方面历史经验,认识到贫穷不是社会主义,打破传统体制束缚,允许一部分人、一部分地区先富起来,推动解放和发展社会生产力。

党的十八大以来,党中央把握发展阶段新变化,把逐步实现全体人民共同富裕摆在更加重要的位置上,推动区域协调发展,采取有力措施保障和改善民生,打赢脱贫攻坚战,全面建成小康社会,为促进共同富裕创造了良好条件。现在,已经到了扎实推动共同富裕的历史阶段。

现在,我们正在向第二个百年奋斗目标迈进。适应我国社会主要矛盾的变化,更好满足人民日益增长的美好生活需要,必须把促进全体人民共同富裕作为为人民谋幸福的着力点,不断夯实党长期执政基础。高质量发展需要高素质劳动者,只有促进共同富裕,提高城乡居民收入,提升人力资本,才能提高全要素生产率,夯实高质量发展的动力基础。当前,全球收入不平等问题突出,一些国家贫富分化,中产阶层塌陷,导致社会撕裂、政治极化、民粹主义泛滥,教训十分深刻!我国必须坚决防止两极分化,促进共同富裕,实现社会和谐安定。

同时,必须清醒认识到,我国发展不平衡不充分问题仍然突出,城乡区域发展和收入分配差距较大。新一轮科技革命和产业变革有力推动了经济发展,也对就业和收入分配带来深刻影响,包括一些负面影响,需要有效应对和解决。

共同富裕是社会主义的本质要求,是中国式现代化的重要特征。我们说的共同富裕是全体人民共同富裕,是人民群众物质生活和精神生活都富裕,不是少数人的富裕,也不是整齐划一的平均主义。

要深入研究不同阶段的目标,分阶段促进共同富裕:到“十四五”末,全体人民共同富裕迈出坚实步伐,居民收入和实际消费水平差距逐步缩小。到2035年,全体人民共同富裕取得更为明显的实质性进展,基本公共服务实现均等化。到本世纪中叶,全体人民共同富裕基本实现,居民收入和实际消费水平差距缩小到合理区间。要抓紧制定促进共同富裕行动纲要,提出科学可行、符合国情的指标体系和考核评估办法。

促进共同富裕,要把握好以下原则。

鼓励勤劳创新致富。

幸福生活都是奋斗出来的,共同富裕要靠勤劳智慧来创造。要坚持在发展中保障和改善民生,把推动高质量发展放在首位,为人民提高受教育程度、增强发展能力创造更加普惠公平的条件,提升全社会人力资本和专业技能,提高就业创业能力,增强致富本领。要防止社会阶层固化,畅通向上流动通道,给更多人创造致富机会,形成人人参与的发展环境,避免“内卷”、“躺平”。

坚持基本经济制度。

要立足社会主义初级阶段,坚持“两个毫不动摇”。要坚持公有制为主体、多种所有制经济共同发展,大力发挥公有制经济在促进共同富裕中的重要作用,同时要促进非公有制经济健康发展、非公有制经济人士健康成长。要允许一部分人先富起来,同时要强调先富带后富、帮后富,重点鼓励辛勤劳动、合法经营、敢于创业的致富带头人。靠偏门致富不能提倡,违法违规的要依法处理。

尽力而为量力而行。

要建立科学的公共政策体系,把蛋糕分好,形成人人享有的合理分配格局。要以更大的力度、更实的举措让人民群众有更多获得感。同时,也要看到,我国发展水平离发达国家还有很大差距。要统筹需要和可能,把保障和改善民生建立在经济发展和财力可持续的基础之上,不要好高骛远,吊高胃口,作兑现不了的承诺。政府不能什么都包,重点是加强基础性、普惠性、兜底性民生保障建设。即使将来发展水平更高、财力更雄厚了,也不能提过高的目标,搞过头的保障,坚决防止落入“福利主义”养懒汉的陷阱。

坚持循序渐进。

共同富裕是一个长远目标,需要一个过程,不可能一蹴而就,对其长期性、艰巨性、复杂性要有充分估计,办好这件事,等不得,也急不得。一些发达国家工业化搞了几百年,但由于社会制度原因,到现在共同富裕问题仍未解决,贫富悬殊问题反而越来越严重。我们要有耐心,实打实地一件事一件事办好,提高实效。要抓好浙江共同富裕示范区建设,鼓励各地因地制宜探索有效路径,总结经验,逐步推开。

总的思路是,坚持以人民为中心的发展思想,在高质量发展中促进共同富裕,正确处理效率和公平的关系,构建初次分配、再分配、三次分配协调配套的基础性制度安排,加大税收、社保、转移支付等调节力度并提高精准性,扩大中等收入群体比重,增加低收入群体收入,合理调节高收入,取缔非法收入,形成中间大、两头小的橄榄型分配结构,促进社会公平正义,促进人的全面发展,使全体人民朝着共同富裕目标扎实迈进。

第一,提高发展的平衡性、协调性、包容性。

要加快完善社会主义市场经济体制,推动发展更平衡、更协调、更包容。要增强区域发展的平衡性,实施区域重大战略和区域协调发展战略,健全转移支付制度,缩小区域人均财政支出差异,加大对欠发达地区的支持力度。要强化行业发展的协调性,加快垄断行业改革,推动金融、房地产同实体经济协调发展。要支持中小企业发展,构建大中小企业相互依存、相互促进的企业发展生态。

第二,着力扩大中等收入群体规模。

要抓住重点、精准施策,推动更多低收入人群迈入中等收入行列。高校毕业生是有望进入中等收入群体的重要方面,要提高高等教育质量,做到学有专长、学有所用,帮助他们尽快适应社会发展需要。技术工人也是中等收入群体的重要组成部分,要加大技能人才培养力度,提高技术工人工资待遇,吸引更多高素质人才加入技术工人队伍。中小企业主和个体工商户是创业致富的重要群体,要改善营商环境,减轻税费负担,提供更多市场化的金融服务,帮助他们稳定经营、持续增收。进城农民工是中等收入群体的重要来源,要深化户籍制度改革,解决好农业转移人口随迁子女教育等问题,让他们安心进城,稳定就业。要适当提高公务员特别是基层一线公务员及国有企事业单位基层职工工资待遇。要增加城乡居民住房、农村土地、金融资产等各类财产性收入。

第三,促进基本公共服务均等化。

低收入群体是促进共同富裕的重点帮扶保障人群。要加大普惠性人力资本投入,有效减轻困难家庭教育负担,提高低收入群众子女受教育水平。要完善养老和医疗保障体系,逐步缩小职工与居民、城市与农村的筹资和保障待遇差距,逐步提高城乡居民基本养老金水平。要完善兜底救助体系,加快缩小社会救助的城乡标准差异,逐步提高城乡最低生活保障水平,兜住基本生活底线。要完善住房供应和保障体系,坚持房子是用来住的、不是用来炒的定位,租购并举,因城施策,完善长租房政策,扩大保障性租赁住房供给,重点解决好新市民住房问题。

第四,加强对高收入的规范和调节。

在依法保护合法收入的同时,要防止两极分化、消除分配不公。要合理调节过高收入,完善个人所得税制度,规范资本性所得管理。要积极稳妥推进房地产税立法和改革,做好试点工作。要加大消费环节税收调节力度,研究扩大消费税征收范围。要加强公益慈善事业规范管理,完善税收优惠政策,鼓励高收入人群和企业更多回报社会。要清理规范不合理收入,加大对垄断行业和国有企业的收入分配管理,整顿收入分配秩序,清理借改革之名变相增加高管收入等分配乱象。要坚决取缔非法收入,坚决遏制权钱交易,坚决打击内幕交易、操纵股市、财务造假、偷税漏税等获取非法收入行为。

经过多年探索,我们对解决贫困问题有了完整的办法,但在如何致富问题上还要探索积累经验。要保护产权和知识产权,保护合法致富。要坚决反对资本无序扩张,对敏感领域准入划出负面清单,加强反垄断监管。同时,也要调动企业家积极性,促进各类资本规范健康发展。

第五,促进人民精神生活共同富裕。

促进共同富裕与促进人的全面发展是高度统一的。要强化社会主义核心价值观引领,加强爱国主义、集体主义、社会主义教育,发展公共文化事业,完善公共文化服务体系,不断满足人民群众多样化、多层次、多方面的精神文化需求。要加强促进共同富裕舆论引导,澄清各种模糊认识,防止急于求成和畏难情绪,为促进共同富裕提供良好舆论环境。

第六,促进农民农村共同富裕。

促进共同富裕,最艰巨最繁重的任务仍然在农村。农村共同富裕工作要抓紧,但不宜像脱贫攻坚那样提出统一的量化指标。要巩固拓展脱贫攻坚成果,对易返贫致贫人口要加强监测、及早干预,对脱贫县要扶上马送一程,确保不发生规模性返贫和新的致贫。要全面推进乡村振兴,加快农业产业化,盘活农村资产,增加农民财产性收入,使更多农村居民勤劳致富。要加强农村基础设施和公共服务体系建设,改善农村人居环境。

我总的认为,像全面建成小康社会一样,全体人民共同富裕是一个总体概念,是对全社会而言的,不要分成城市一块、农村一块,或者东部、中部、西部地区各一块,各提各的指标,要从全局上来看。我们要实现14亿人共同富裕,必须脚踏实地、久久为功,不是所有人都同时富裕,也不是所有地区同时达到一个富裕水准,不同人群不仅实现富裕的程度有高有低,时间上也会有先有后,不同地区富裕程度还会存在一定差异,不可能齐头并进。这是一个在动态中向前发展的过程,要持续推动,不断取得成效。


Source : 中央党史和文献研究院

Charts: Distribution of Household Wealth in the U.S.

WTF. . . . . . .

Source : The Federal Reserve System

China Wealth Connect With Hong Kong to Kick Off Next Month

Kiuyan Wong and Denise Wee wrote . . . . . . . . .

A long-awaited program to allow investments for private wealth between Hong Kong and mega-cities in China’s southern region will open for cross-border flows as soon as next month.

Wealth Management Connect, which has been estimated to generate almost $500 million in annual fees for banks, will come into operation in October and November, said Edmond Lau, Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s deputy chief executive officer, at a ceremony on Friday.

HSBC Holdings Plc, Standard Chartered Plc and Citigroup Inc. have been beefing up their presence in anticipation of the plan, one of the building blocks in integrating the Greater Bay Area, a region of 70 million people encompassing cities such as Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Hong Kong’s government has embraced closer ties with China since unrest hit the city in 2019.

“Hong Kong’s asset management industry is excited at the opening of what is effectively a brand-new market,” said Alexa Lam, chief executive officer, Asia-Pacific, at ICI Global, an association representing regulated funds with $40.5 trillion in assets.

The area has total gross domestic product of about $1.7 trillion, an economy similar in size to Canada, according to consulting firm Bain & Co. A survey conducted by HSBC and the Nielson Co. (Hong Kong) found more than 80% of mainland investors in the area plan to invest through wealth management connect.

The link will open a northbound channel for Hong Kong and Macau residents to invest in onshore financial products and a southbound channel for eligible mainland residents to invest offshore. The program will free up some capital controls and allow mainland investors to move money out of China in a closed loop system with an individual quota of 1 million yuan ($155,000) and a cap of 150 billion yuan.

Mainland residents will need at least 2 years investment experience and at least 1 million yuan in net household financial assets in the most recent three months to be qualified.

At the initial stage, mainland Chinese investors will be limited to “low” and “medium” risk and “non-complex” Hong Kong products such as deposits and bonds, as well as Hong Kong-domiciled funds, including equities, authorized by the regulator.

“We are in place to deliver the best value for our clients in the region, including to offer GBA clients a broader range of investment opportunities,” said Lawrence Lam, head of consumer banking for Hong Kong at Citigroup. “To support client-led wealth growth in Hong Kong, we plan to hire over 1,000 professionals across the wealth franchise by 2025.”


Source : BNN Bloomberg